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Proper Eating Habits

by Ayurveda Therapist on July 5, 2011

Proper Eating Habits

1. Matra (Quantity)

According to Ayurveda, the quantity is more important than the quality of the food. Quantity of the food is more important in determining how the food is digested.

Matra depends on:

- The nature of the food
- Is the food heavy or difficult to digest
- Is the food light or easy to digest
- The strength of the agni of an individual

This means that a person with good digestive capacity can eat a greater quantity of light food (Eat until you have a full stomach or stop before you reach full satisfaction) and moderate quantity of heavy food (Eat until the stomach is ½ way full). For optimal digestion, the stomach should be filled ½ with food, ¼ with liquid, and ¼ left as space. Measure stomach in terms of anjali mudra (Hands in prayer position which approximates the size of the stomach).

2. Ayurvedic Recommendations for Liquids

• Drinking room temperature or cold water before meals leads to emaciation.
• Drinking cold or room temperature water immediately after meals leads to weight gain.
• Drinking cold or room temperature water during meals balances the weight.
• Drinking hot or herbal water half hour before meals increases appetite.
• Drinking hot or herbal water half hour after meals improves digestion.
• Drink 1.5 – 2 ml water throughout day (minimum of 4 glasses of water daily).
• Drinking cold water or ice water slows down the agni and digestion. Indeed, ice water or refrigerated water should not be taken under most circumstances, as it is too shocking to the system.
• Small sips of warm water during a meal will improve the appetite and digestion.

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